Health care providers have a legal and ethical duty for the care of their patients and are required, therefore, to provide care in a safe way and a harm-free environment. Routine clinical practice is expected to be based on knowledge, skills, judgment, and attitudes needed for safe patient care.The field of infection prevention and control for, example, isan area where the expectations are high as the field is characterized by guidelines and standards, and failure to comply with recommended guidelines will mean a failure to meet the appropriate standard of care.
Infection prevention and control practice has evolved significantly over the years and health care professionals need to stay abreast with the new scientific literature to adapt to changing guidelines. This is particularly important as the threat of emerging infectious diseases like Ebola, SARS, avian influenza and multidrug-resistance are on the rise.
The skill sets required for the effective application of infection prevention and control is therefore indispensable for safe and quality patient care amidst enormous clinical challenges. For example, environmental surfaces and equipment frequently become contaminated with germs and can serve as an indirect source of transmission to patients and staff. Surgical procedures may result in secondary infections from contaminated devices with either endogenous or exogenous microorganisms. Needle stick injuries may result in blood borne infections such as HIV, hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Gaps in vaccination coverage for vaccine-preventable diseases may result in an outbreak. Natural or man-made disasters may also increase the burden of communicable diseases. Also, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated bloodstream infection, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and surgical site infections together referred to as healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)are increasingly prevalent inpatient care environments. These HAIs often result from gaps in the application of aseptic techniques and standard precautions.
Besides the problem of HAIs, the prevalence of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms is also on the rise. The problem of antimicrobial-resistant infection is further compounded by the following: the continuous reluctance of pharmaceutical companies to invest in the search for new antimicrobials because of fear of the potential development of resistance; regulatory difficulties faced by public health bodies to effectively control access and proper use of antimicrobials and fundamental challenges in antimicrobial stewardship programs. Consequently, considering that every infection prevented is one that needs no treatment, infection prevention and control is undoubtedly an attractive way to mitigate the spread of infections and reduce the global burden of infectious diseases.
Despite the need and relevance of infection prevention and control in quality patient care, the day-to-day application is sometime overlooked or missed by health care professionals,partly because of knowledge gaps, negligence, or busy shifts. Continuous education and training is necessary to reawaken awareness and improve compliance.
The purpose of this guide is to provide health care professionals and their organizations with a practical resource for infection prevention and control.Contained within the guide is an introduction to infections including HAIs and infections caused by multi drug-resistant organisms, how they are transmitted, methods to control the spread, antimicrobial stewardship, standard precautions, transmission precautions, emergency response, the environment of care, and equipment reprocessing.
Without proper training on how infections are transmitted, including infection prevention and control standards, health care professionals may unconsciously fail to adhere to standard precautions and guidelines and this may enhance the transmission of pathogens. Therefore, health care workers need adequate knowledge of the infectious process and the application of both standard and transmission-based precautions along with an optimum environment of care. To maintain quality in practice, health care professionals must seek to continuously improve their knowledge in infection prevention and control, as well as remain constantly vigilant to emerging microbial threats.
I encourage all health care professionals to take advantage of this professional development opportunity to enhance their competency and improve patient care.
The book is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle eBook format .(https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07W81LM1B?pf_rd_p=2d1ab404-3b11-4c97-b3db-48081e145e35&pf_rd_r=GRA6XJ4YENM757J22ZCP)
About the author
Dr. Ayukekbong holds a Ph.D in medical science and is a board-certified infection preventionist (CIC). He is the founder and chief infection preventionist at EpiTech Public Health, Canada and also an instructor at Algonquin College, University of Ottawa. Through his organization, he has led the training of hundreds of health care professionals on infection prevention and control. His primary research interest is infectious disease surveillance and has published several papers within this field. He is a member of Infection prevention and control (IPAC) Canada and the Infection Control Africa Network (ICAN). He is a guest editor to the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Virology and AIDS, and also serves as an expert reviewer to several international scientific and public health journals.